Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices, and Forbidden Plants

Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices, and Forbidden Plants

An in-depth investigation of traditional European folk medicine and the healing arts of witches • Explores the outlawed “alternative” medicine of witches suppressed by the state and the Church and how these plants can be used today • Reveals that female shamanic medicine can be found in cultures all over the world • Illustrated with color and black-and-white art reproductions dating back to the 16th century • Includes three 8-page color inserts and 158 b&w illustrations Witch me

Rating: (out of 9 reviews)

List Price: $ 24.95


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5 Responses to “Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices, and Forbidden Plants”

  • Katrina Stone:

    Review by Katrina Stone for Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices, and Forbidden Plants
    This is a one of its kind book. While “Mastering Herbalism” put forth a lot of remedies and traditional folk uses of healing herbs, this is more about the history and folk uses of halucinogenic herbs, but also covers some traditional healing herbs as well. I found this book incredibly facinating, dry in spots, but otherwise difficult to put down. I highly recommend it, as well as “Plants of the Gods” and a good Peterson’s Field Guide if you are going to attempt to find any of the plants listed in this book.

  • Christina Paul:

    Review by Christina Paul for Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices, and Forbidden Plants
    When I picked up this book, I thought it looked very good. I don’t think however, I was quite prepared to be as impressed as I was with the work. It is not just a work about herbs and Witchcraft and their history, but a treasure trove of world cultural traditions and the folk healing modalities.

    As a professional herbalist, I was really very happy to see the amount of research and documentation that went into this book. It really delves into the European shamanic traditions and healing arts and folk religions attached to them. This is something, which is sadly quite lacking in alot of literature that is about “shamanism”. So much of of it is a hodge podged mess of European and Native American practices and lots of urban legend. Not so with this book. You get a clear idea where the lines of the histories of Witchcraft and folk medicine practices got blurred and blown far out of proportion by way of legend and outright lies. And you also get an in depth look at how many of these plants were used. The authors pull no punches, poisons, halucinagens and abortifacients can be found listed in this book. I think this is the first time in many years that I have seen an herbal book which dared to list them, let alone discuss them. I also learned about some plants that I had no knowledge of before and I am always up for that! This, I believe is how Witches in the past truly practiced, and how many still practice to this day throughout the world. The focus however is on European Witches and Western herbalism.

    Witchcraft Medicine is clearly a scholarly work, but it it is not so much that the subject is at all dry and uninteresting to read. It was for me quite the contrary. I couldn’t put it down! There is no relgious-centric slant to it at all. There are no sensationalist claims about 8 million Witches being murdered during the so-called Burning Times, for example. It’s just lots of very straight facts, which is important. There is too much that is junk out there, and this book I would count it among my top ten historical herbals on my personal bookshelf. This book is a very impressive body of work. Note that there are not really recipies or proportions as to using these now.

  • J Irvin:

    Review by J Irvin for Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices, and Forbidden Plants
    Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices, and Forbidden Plants by Claudia Muller-Ebeling, Christian Ratsch, and Wolf-Dieter Storl

    Christian Ratsch, PhD, the well-known ethnopharmacologist from Germany and his partner Claudia Muller-Ebeling, PhD, have come through again.

    This is a fantastic book on the history, botany and prohibition of witchcraft and shamanism throughout Europe.

    The book provides and excellent breakdown of both herbal and entheogenic plants used throughout Europe in medieval and ancient times. From Hawthorn to Holly, Elder to Elm, Belladonna to Mandrake, Amanita to Psilocybe, this book provides a well rounded foundation for understanding the healing plants as well as the psychotropic plants and their usage, symbology and worship and prohibition.

    The first part of the book written by Wolf-Dieter Storl is good reading, however it lacks the references and solid foundation that Ratsch and Muller-Ebeling provide in their sections, providing the reader with maybe a 1/3 of the amount of reference material as the other two authors. This left me wanting more proof for some of his proposals.

    Another problem with the book is that the authors should have collaborated together on the book as a whole instead of writing their own separate sections. Their own sections cause a little unnecessary repetition throughout the book and because of this, in some places, as one reviewer mentioned, information seems contradictory. However, the other reviewer took the meaning of removing the entheogenic substances from modern witches salves (which, without proper knowledge of their usage can be dangerous and poisonous) instead of in the context it was meant, when used with proper knowledge and care, is highly effective medicine, rendering modern, politically correct versions of these salves as ineffective.

    Over all, the book is a 5 star read. I was especially impressed with the history of the Inquisition and its impact on witchcraft and shamanism in Europe. The book provides new angles on understanding the Pharmacratic Inquisition that I had not really considered before.

    An excellent addition to any library.

  • Kelly L. (www.FantasyLiterature.com):

    Review by Kelly L. (www.FantasyLiterature.com) for Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices, and Forbidden Plants
    The authors of this book purport to tell the history of herb and plant use for religious purposes throughout history. They especially focus on plants that have hallucinogenic, healing, or toxic qualities.

    Only trouble is, I find it hard to trust the authors’ word on how to use dangerous plants when they make errors so often in other areas. For example, they claim that Henry VIII had syphilis, passed it on to his children, and therefore none of them lived past infancy. Ummm…except for the *three* who grew up to rule England? And in a table of plants sacred to various Greek goddesses, they mention that the pomegranate is sacred to Hera, but do not connect it to Persephone at all, which seems a pretty big oversight in light of her myth.

    Then, they go on to talk about witches’ flying ointments and how deadly they were–but ridicule modern witches who concoct less fatal blends to help them go into trance.

    There may very well be treasures in this book. I’d just be too afraid to trust the authors’ accuracy.

  • Tyrvald:

    Review by Tyrvald for Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices, and Forbidden Plants
    I have completed the enlightening task of reading Witchcraft Medicine and this tome of knowledge will be invaluable to my research and spiritual evolution!

    Bewildering numbers of herbs and deities are discussed, as is the history of the strategic demonization and persecution of herbal healers. Cannabis and other sacred sacraments are related to the gods and to historic texts throughout the book, including many wood-cuttings and even color photography. The author’s have a tendency to describe in great detail some artwork that didn’t make it into the book. I assume the problem was copyright law.

    Thank the gods this book was translated into English! The Great Mother Goddess is likely pleased.

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